A councillor has made a fresh call for the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead to be transformed into a dual carriageway.
Aberdeenshire member Gillian Owen, who has been a driving force in the dualling campaign, has written to Minister of Transport Keith Brown MSP urging action.
In a letter seen by the Press and Journal, Mrs Owen, who represents Ellon and District, says: “The residents of the north-east deserve a better road network, and whilst everyone is delighted with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, it is 40 years too late.
“Please do not make us wait another 40 years for the dualling to Peterhead.”
The long-standing demand for an upgraded stretch of road between Ellon and Peterhead – currently a busy single-carriageway route – is born of economic demand and driver safety concerns.
Peterhead is Europe’s largest whitefish port and home to international engineering firms Score and Asco, whose heavy goods vehicles travel the route daily.
Road safety campaigners believe upgrading this section to a dual carriageway will save lives by taking away the frustration caused by getting stuck behind large, impassible traffic.
Since 1999, there have been nine fatal accidents on the Peterhead-Ellon stretch alone.
A social network campaign called Why Stop at Ellon has more than 1,400 ‘likes’ and Mrs Owen has encouraged members to send letters of their own to the Scottish Government.
But the cost of dualling the 14-mile stretch has been estimated at £140m and would come at a time when significant investment is being made to finish dualling the Aberdeen-Ellon A90 stretch, and construct an Aberdeen bypass.
Last night the Scottish Government hit back against Mrs Owen’s criticism.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The Scottish Government is already delivering the dualled upgrade of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty along with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, bringing an additional £6 billion to the north east economy, generating around 900 construction jobs, improving safety and cutting congestion for road users and local communities.
“Quite rightly our current focus is on ensuring the existing projects currently underway for the north east are delivered to the revised timeline and budget, and we are seeking to accelerate these deadlines where possible.”
The spokesman added that Transport Scotland are working closely with businesses in the area to improve “strategic links” between Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.